PositiveThe New RepublicAs the name implies, MMT is a set of newish ideas that maddeningly reopen a question that you’d think only a novice stoner or seven-year-old would dare ask: Where does money come from, and what does it do? MMT argues that money is a legal and political construct and that limits to government spending are not monetary and only mildly economic; they are primarily political ... The idea is that a basic understanding of how money works, of MMT precepts, could empower any citizen to fight for a better world. But this will only happen once we reconcile what the country is capable of and what the people are willing to do ... it-diminishing government? Are we willing to stop shoveling resources into the military (and its domestic paramilitary offshoot, police departments) and start diverting them to working-class communities? If everyone deserves to be safe, housed, and prosperous, let’s instruct the Federal Reserve to start marking up some different accounts.
Thomas Piketty, Trans. by Arthur Goldhammer
PositiveThe New RepublicUnlike Capital, the new book lands on the world’s doorstep in the midst of an unfolding economic crisis, when the shutdown required to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is sending the world into a spiraling recession, with the wealthy fleeing to secluded second homes, while millions are thrown out of work or forced to do dangerous jobs. To come out the other side better off, the world will need new ideas ... In Capital and Ideology, Piketty has put forward proposals for long-term, permanent change, but impressively, they would also be immediately useful in speeding along the recovery ... Piketty’s own imagination of new worlds is grounded in a rigorous and detailed analysis of the institutions that have existed in the real world. His proposals, he insists, are limited to those based \'primarily on the historical lessons presented in this book.\' He is uncovering ideas that have worked before. They could work again.